BURY cyclist Adam Yates will make his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a Espana this month after being called up to Orica-GreenEdge’s nine-man squad.
The 22-year-old Briton’s selection is reward for an impressive debut season as a professional, in which he claimed overall victory at the Tour of Turkey in the spring and finished an impressive sixth at the Criterium du Dauphine in June.
Given his age, Orica-GreenEdge do not expect Yates to finish the 21-day race and will likely withdraw him in the second week, as they did with his twin brother Simon at this summer’s Tour de France.
The team hope Yates will join breakaways and even challenge for wins on mountainous stages, while also supporting the general classification ambitions of Colombian climber Johan Esteban Chaves.
Much will depend on Yates’s form following a crash at the Clasica San Sebastian earlier this month, when he was knocked unconscious in a high-speed fall as he battled for victory in the closing kilometres.
Orica-GreenEdge sports director Neil Stephens said: “We have the firepower of Adam Yates, who perhaps might not do the whole Tour of Spain, but certainly he is in great shape. He had a little bit of a setback at the Clasica San Sebastian. He knocked himself around a fair bit, but we are hoping Adam is going to be able to target certain stages.”
The Vuelta a Espana takes place from Saturday to September 14.